Networking For Sales: The Power Is In The Questioning

Ever come un-stuck with how to strike up and tie up a business related conversation? Here are my suggestions for fail-safe questions to bank when attending a networking event or business meeting, with the agenda to convert in a positive way…

  1. First things first, scrap the script and allow conversation to flow naturally from the on-set, this is where relationships are built, make small talk to soften slowly into whatever agenda you have to discuss.
  2. Listen & learn to shut up- it’s easy to keep waffling on if you are nervous, trying to fill the gaps for fear of an awkward silence but don’t, let the other person speak and take their turn. If the above tip is done initially and eye contact made throughout, then there should be no need for gap fillers and waffle.
  3. “How would you feel about introducing me to a couple of your contacts in your network, I really feel it would be of value to me?” Here this allows that person to be the connector and the person of power in this scenario, which would most likely be of mutual benefit to them also.
  4. “Perhaps we could have a chat about one or two ways in which we could potentially help one another /explore a potential synergy with our businesses.” This one is great for igniting a one to one conversation with a direct approach and agenda, potentially benefitting both parties.
  5. I feel you and I have a similar approach and ethos in our businesses, how would you feel about exploring ways in which we could work together going forward”? This highlights a commonality between you and that person, immediately drawing them into intrigue and familiarity – a comfort zone we all like to be in.
  6. “I’m receiving some fantastic recommendations and testimonials for my business at the moment from my clients, could we talk more?” This is clarifying your place in the market as a successful leader, showing confidence to which you are looking to build upon and leverage- go for it!

Fiona Duncan-Steer

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